Strategies used by the Far Right to counter accusations of racism

Authors: Goodman, S. and Johnson, A.J.

Journal: Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines

Volume: 6

Issue: 2

Pages: 97-113


This paper addresses the way in which the leader of the far-right British National Party (BNP), Nick Griffin, attempts to present the party as non-racist during hostile media appearances. The process of ‘fascism recalibration’, in which the party attempts to present itself in a more moderate way, which has been used to account for its electoral gain, is discussed. A discursive analytical approach is applied to one television and two radio programmes, all on the BBC, in which Nick Griffin was interviewed. The paper addresses the question: ‘how is the BNP presented in a way that makes it appear reasonable and achieve ‘fascism recalibration’? Analysis identified three strategies employed for this objective. These are: the party is presented as (1) acting as a moderating force, whereby a favourable distinction is made between the BNP and both other extremists and the BNP's own past; (2) acting in minority groups’ best interests, where BNP policies are presented as being both supported by, and aimed to aid, minority groups; and (3) only opposing minority groups because of their own prejudices, a strategy used to justify Islamaphobia based on the supposed intolerances of Islam. The implications and limitations of these strategies are discussed.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Andrew Johnson

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